In one of the more extreme stories coming out of MySpace.com (as if they needed more bad press), a teenager who flew to the Middle East to be with a man she met on the site said she intends to marry him.
Here’s definitely a case where the parents should have been involved in what their daughter was doing online. It is far too easy to get involved with people online on an emotional level without getting to know the rest of the person. Part of the problem is the fact that our brains are really good at filling in blanks that we don’t know. We can use the fact that a person seems to fit in what little we read to let us trick ourselves that this person is the best one for us and that can lead to an emotional attachment.
This girl flew all the way to Israel before being caught and returned to the U.S. and she said that she would marry the guy– probably on that trip. Add to that there are some reports (although she would not confirm them recently when asked) that she was willing to convert from Christianity to Islam. That, in itself, isn’t (well, I say this being a Christian and believing with all my heart it is the only relationship that is in line with God’s teaching and will lead to eternal life…) the worst part.
There have been numerous cases of girls that have married and converted, only to find the lifestyle that they chose to be much more restrictive than they thought. There have also been many problems with keeping children produced in such a union when the girl wants to leave. And what if this man decided that he wanted to his three other wives Islam lets him have? What would she think of that?
The worst case scenario (and I know nothing of the guy, I’m just thinking of possibilities that the parents should consider) would be that someone that the guy knows (or the guy himself) takes this American girl and she gets captured or beheaded by terrorists.
These and other considerations are why I think that the father’s “…because you can see they have a love for each other” seems very unaware of what’s going on or the seriousness of what is going on here.